Thompson-Hall municipal client the City of Lansing prevailed in July in the Kansas Supreme Court. In 2003 Lansing entered into an interlocal agreement with nearby Delaware Township and High Prairie Township for a jointly operated fire district to provide fire protection services for the City and the Townships. In 2018 Lansing gave notice of its intention to terminate the operating agreement consistent with the agreement’s terms. The Townships reacted by filing a lawsuit alleging the agreement the parties had signed was illegal and contrary to public policy. On review, Justice Caleb Stegall, writing for the Court, noted:
“The lower courts ruled against Lansing, holding that the termination and asset division provisions of the agreement were unenforceable because of a ‘conflicting’ statute governing the creation and termination of fire districts. Lower courts also found public policy reasons to disallow the sought-after termination. Today we reverse those decisions and hold that the agreement is enforceable by its clear terms.”
The reversal ruling will permit the City of Lansing to move forward consistent with the terms of the bargain the City struck with the Townships in 2003. The City will be able to continue its efforts to enhance the fire protection provided to the citizens of Lansing.
Adam Hall and Todd Thompson handled the appeal for the City, splitting the work on the briefs and at oral argument.